Chris Condon of zombie killfest The Last Stand fame moves his previous game Warfare 1917 out of the hellish trenches of WWI’s Western Front and fast forwards 27 years onto the beaches of Normandy in Warfare 1944, his latest creation for Armor Games.
This time round, it’s no longer the vicious meatgrinder that Warfare 1917 was with its murderous frontal assaults. Flanking maneuvers are now possible since your troops can advance along one of three zones and mutually support friendly squads in adjacent zones. Therefore, while advancing down the centre is advantageous for support troops like mortar and machinegun teams as they can provide covering fire to other units in the centre or on either flank, they can also be quickly overwhelmed as enemy squads can attack and kill them from any zone.
The objectives have also been expanded to reflect the more fluid combat and small unit tactics of WWII. While it’s still possible to win by bleeding the enemy dry until they surrender ala WWI, the skilful deployment and maneuvering of troops past the ends of the top and bottom flanks will deplete enemy morale much more quickly than bloody frontal assaults and save more lives on your side as well. Of course, taking the objective by charging down the usually heavily-defended centre is also a viable victory condition, but usually at a heavier cost in lives and this will adversely affect the amount of XP you get for upgrading your forces after the battle.
While heavily armed and armoured, tanks aren’t invulnerable and have to be supported by infantry to prevent enemy anti-tank teams from closing in with their bazookas or panzerfausts.
However, even with three different zones to slug it out, stalemates sometimes occur in spite of both sides adding the heavy firepower from tanks and mortar teams into the fray. To break the deadlock, officers can be deployed to call in heavier fire support in the form of strafing fighter-bombers or artillery barrages with sufficient supply points and the proper upgrades.
No anti-tank units at hand? A lucky direct hit from an artillery barrage will knock out a tank
Speaking of upgrades, they function identically to Warfare 1917 – they consist of improvements to your infantry or unlock additional equipment (e.g grenades and support options) and you never get enough to unlock all improvements before the end of a campaign (8 missions each for the Americans and Germans). The two sides play with a slight difference due to several variations in their upgrades – the Americans focus primarily on speed while the Germans concentrate on raw defensive power.
Tactically, Warfare 1944 is a much more interesting and engaging affair than its predecessor due to the brilliant inclusion of flanking attacks and additional winning conditions. The addition of different difficulty levels in version 1.1 is a major plus too, since you wouldn’t be seeing screenshots of victorious German soldiers here
All is not perfect though and one major gripe I have with Warfare is the randomness of tank-vs-tank combat. It’s definitely realistic that the turret-mounted machinegun and main cannon of a tank can be individually destroyed but it really sucks when you spend 800 supply points for a tank and its main gun gets busted by a lucky first shot from an enemy tank And if it happens that you have no bazooka or panzerfaust teams nearby, that single enemy tank is gonna roll over any of your infantry squads unfortunate enough to get in the way.
The other (small) letdown is a rare bug where multiple enemy squads hog a single fighting position and mow down anything in range. Chris reports on his blog that it’s being fixed at the moment though
Now that Warfare 1944 is out, I wonder if there’re plans for a third game in the series – maybe we’ll see asymmetric warfare in the steaming jungles of Vietnam?
Play Warfare 1944 or check out Chris Condon’s blog at www.conartistgames.com.
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A Simulation of Trench Warfare : Warfare 1917
British Commemorative Booklets for World War II
War and Game – Military History Blog
WWII Anti-Submarine Warfare Tactical Lessons from BBC
Tags: Flash Games Military Recommended